Cyberflix isn't perhaps the most well-known of studios, but back in the '90s, it was responsible for some stellar adventure games. Chief among them being Titanic: Adventure Out of Time and the western Dust: A Tale of the Wired West.
Titanic: Adventure Out of Time let you embark upon an adventure aboard the doomed passenger-liner against the backdrop of an international conspiracy, while the latter put you in the shoes of a mysterious stranger hiding out in a small, desert town. Like most first-person adventure games, you got around mostly by using the arrow keys and had to click around the screen with a mouse, interacting with people of interest and objects in the environment.
But while the former of these two games has since found its way over to GOG and Steam, allowing players to enjoy Cyberflix's impressive recreations of the RMS Titanic, Dust has yet to receive a similar treatment – which is a real shame considering it's arguably just as charming and as weird as Cyberflix's other adventure title.
But, should you be one of the game's few remaining fans like us, have no fear, as in lieu of an official rerelease, a dedicated fan has taken it upon himself to rebuild the game in Unreal Engine 5 – and already it's looking pretty promising.
Brandon Vermuelen is a student game developer, who tells me that he used to play the game with his dad when he was younger. Spotting that there was no announcement from Nightdive Studios, the studio behind the re-release of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, he saw an opportunity to enhance his development skills and to bring the game into the modern day.
"One day I realized that Titanic Adventure Out Of Time was ported to steam, and that was it," he tells us. "I didn't hear anything about any other games from that developer being remade or ported, so I took it upon myself to do that. The development is still early on. I am working on the first main street and building the town as close as possible to its original look with some creative liberties I have taken to help better the experience."
As anyone who played Cyberflix's titles will remember, its games often featured an odd mix of live-action and animation. So we had to ask Vermuelen how he plans to handle the characters in this remake. Will we be seeing his friends dress up as cowboys and sheriffs, green screening their way through the game's event like in the original?
Well, the answer is no! Instead, he plans to use iClone Eight and Character Creator 4, to bring the cast of characters alive – something we're kind of undecided on as of yet. Part of the charm of the original game, after all, was its bizarre live-action characters and animation. But we imagine that's also what will likely keep new players away from giving it a spin.
For now, though, we have full faith in Vermuelen, and wish him all the best with the project (which doesn't yet have a release date). If anything, hopefully it will bring more attention to the game, and convince whoever holds the rights that there are still dozens of people who care about this game all these years later.
For updates on the Dust: A Tale of The Wired West remake, you can follow Vermuelen over on Facebook.